Comment from Practicing GP and CEO of eConsult, Dr Murray Ellender
“The NHS faces an uphill struggle with the “hidden backlog” of patients waiting to be seen.
“There’s a clear tension point between GP surgeries and A&E departments, both challenged with demand outstripping capacity. According to our own study, of those who self-referred to A&E, nearly a quarter (24%), did so because they didn’t want to overwhelm their GP surgery during the COVID-19 crisis. What’s more, 60% visited A&E having saved up more than one ailment for the visit.
“Whilst patients have been trying to relieve pressures on their local GP, the result of a misdirected journey to care can cause increased pressure for clinicians and patients alike. With a bleak winter ahead of us, it is vital that we implement tried and tested digital triage processes that gets patients to the right clinician, at the right time, first time and every time.
“The NHS is in desperate need of a systematic overhaul, as the pandemic has clearly highlighted the healthcare system’s flawed infrastructure of insufficient and disconnected triage. We need to improve the patient experience by joining the doors of the healthcare system and ensuring patients know where to go to receive the right care”.